"Me and the Devil was walking side by side" Quote from the song "Me and the Devil Blues" By Robert Johnson.
I will try and make this post less ranty than it seems to be in my head right now. Today is my birthday which has become a personal de facto holiday in my life as it is for many other left hand pathers and Satanist. For me it is time a celebrate personal power, and the self in all it's glory. It is also a very reflective time where I take a good look at my current station in life. This brings me to a bit of a crossroads if you will and leaves me much to contemplate. This in turn got me thinking about the legendary Hoodoo ritual for gaining mastery in a skill by selling your soul to the"Devil" at a crossroads. This is a ritual that I have not performed yet, but being a Hoodoo conjurer I feel it's worth exploring. Popular Hoodoo belief is that this dark figure of the crossroads is not the devil but a manifestation of the Voudon Lwa Papa Legba who presides over the crossroads. But it is interesting that this black (literally black, no reference to African origins) figure could easily be compared to the black figure that presides over the witches sabbath which could be one reason why he has been compared to the devil.
Even though I consider myself Left Hand Path and have no problem identifying with a sinister current, I have often distanced myself from the Devil and Satan. Usually whenever I came across a ritual that included references to Satan or the Devil I would change to wording in some way. I have long considered myself close to the adversarial force but hesitated to use those particular epithets because I did not want my personal practice to delve into the realm of Christian characeture as some often do. However recently I have been opening up more to that manifestation of the adversarial current and respecting it as much more than a literary vice in a biblical narrative. Also a recent study of Andrew Chumbley's writings and a working with his Grimoire Qutub has got me thinking more about my connection with "..that old serpent called the Devil and Satan"(Revelations 12:9).
I personally come to view the Devil as a very real spiritual entity worthy of respect, but one that does not desire or wish to be worshiped. I am personally inspired by the personal character that this entity has presented in it's various manifestations and my goal is to exhibit those same qualities. To me Satan has become one of the world's biggest celebrities. People tend to have three different reactions to celebrity. Most are indifferent or could care less. Some choose to worship, adore and live vicariously through there pantheon of celebrities. A rare few become inspired enough to take that example and become a celebrity in there own right. I have chosen the latter. It's the difference between playing guitar hero, or actually learning to play an instrument and rocking . Modern pop culture and society in general tends to project (that's right it's about to get all Jungian up in this piece) a great deal onto it's celebrities, Satan included. Sure they get a great deal of our unwanted or unclaimed crap and blame hurled on them and are held up as the cause of human problems, but on the other hand a great deal of our sense of power, sexuality, charisma, and creativity are given to them as well. These are qualities that we all can possess in one form or another, but many chose to give it away to a figure that they feel represents a more ideal form of the archetype better suited to embody those energies. Why not make yourself better suitedand keep that power self contained and put to better use?
So thus my relationship with the Devil is one of inspiration, self examination and improvement. I seek to learn from and then surpass the teacher. So thus when it comes time to stand at the crossroads and make my call it will be with respect and in silence prepared to invoke, learn, reclaim, and Become. Me and the Devil will walk side by side until he has nothing left to teach me.
October, 07, 2009